Tuesday, February 4, 2014

Why Travel Tuesday: Chinese New Year, Manila Chinatown

(Every Tuesday, I will be featuring a photograph from a place I have gone to, a photograph which I believe will inspire others to go out and see the world for themselves. For this week, Why Travel Tuesday features celebrations during this year's Chinese New Year in Manila Chinatown.)

Philippines: Manila Chinatown Binondo
One of the primary streets in Manila Chinatown, Ongpin, filled to the brim with people during this year's Chinese New Year celebrations

Last year, 2013, became sort of a rediscovery year for one of the districts of my city, Manila. I and a few friends (like many others before us) found ourselves walking through the streets of Manila Chinatown, more popularly known as Binondo, eating our way through the neighborhood. Food tours of Manila Chinatown has become popular in recent years thanks to local historian Ivan Man Dy of the famed Old Manila Walks. The tours shone light to the authentic and very delicious Chinese and Chinese-Filipino food found in this area.

We returned to Manila Chinatown last weekend to catch the Chinese New Year celebrations and the streets were packed. There were dragon dancers, lion dancers, marching bands, and, of course, fireworks. Restaurants had hour-long queues. Fruits and tikoy vendors lined the streets. Festive only begins to describe it and I enjoyed it immensely. Something tells me I will find myself again and again in Manila Chinatown this year.

Does your city celebrate Chinese New Year?

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